Man who tried to claim £22k in damages after car crash caught zip wiring on holiday
| Last updated
A man who said he couldn't work for months because of injuries he'd sustained in a car crash had his compensation case thrown out after posting pictures of himself zip wiring on holiday.
Ferenc Kirinovits claimed he'd needed surgery and had been out of work for three months, demanding £22,000 in compensation for the crash.
In a medical examination 13 months after the crash, he said he'd not been able to clean his home, exercise or start a new job.
While he had been pursuing compensation, insurance company AXA UK became suspicious about how serious his injuries were and tasked investigators with getting to the bottom of the matter.
Other pictures showed him hanging upside down from a rope and climbing across netting on an obstacle course.
Investigators discovered more holiday snaps from the man's trip to Mexico including shots of him riding a quad bike, using a zipwire, jumping off a cliff and going for a swim.
A Norwich County Court judge threw out his compensation claim on the grounds that he had 'exaggerated any injuries to the point of criminal dishonesty'.
Kirinovits had been driving a car on the A11 near Attleborough, Norfolk, in August 2016 when his vehicle was hit from behind by another driver.
AXA UK did not dispute liability but believed that Kirinovits was not as seriously injured as he claimed.
He's alleged that he had suffered from whiplash and prolapsed discs in his spine, and had received surgery on his neck three years after the accident.
Investigators for law firm Clyde & Co working on behalf of AXA UK found social media posts from Kirinovits enjoying his holiday six months before he had the surgery.
Other pictures showed him displaying no signs of disability on a trip to the Mayan temple of Kukulcan, known as El Castillo at Chichen Itza in Yucatan.
Kirinovits claimed in court he had been told he might not be able to play sports after the surgery so wanted to enjoy them one last time, but district judge Jacqueline Raggett ruled at the hearing in February that his claim was 'fundamentally dishonest' under Section 57 of the Criminal Justice and Courts Act.
The judge accepted that the man had been injured and had undergone surgery, but said he could not prove his prolapsed discs or surgery were caused by the accident.
AXA UK is now entitled to recover legal costs estimated to be about £12,000.
Damian Rourke, a partner at Clyde & Co, said: "Trying to fake injuries over a prolonged period is much more difficult in today’s connected world.
"With so much social media, CCTV and the ability to easily take surveillance footage, our investigators have a rich seam of evidence to disprove fraudulently exaggerated accounts like that made by Mr Kirinovits.
"It’s important to realise that, had he been successful, Mr Kirinovits’s crime would not have been victimless. Honest motorists around the country would ultimately have paid the cost of his fraud in more expensive car insurance premiums."
Chris Walsh, commercial claims director for AXA UK, said: "Insurance fraud is a serious crime which has significant consequences for fraudsters but sadly also results in higher insurance premiums for honest customers as insurers are faced with increased costs."
Latest figures show that UK insurers detected 89,000 dishonest insurance claims valued at £1.1bn in 2021.